Stage 2 : Making 16 hours a day in concentration

Sadhaks who have attained success in the first step of spirituality and are able to keep their mind concentrated in the Almighty for eight hours a day (i.e. half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening in actual prayers, half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening while taking their meals in the remembrance of the Almighty and six hours while asleep by practicing concentration of mind just before going to bed, having complete rest of the body while mind being concentrated in the Lord during sleep) should now go ahead for the practice of the second step.  Those who have not achieved complete success should not step into the second course of practice till they have completely achieved success in the first.  It is desirable therefore that we should try to follow systematically the various practices for achieving the desired results.

In the second step, saints and sages of Iti Marg have carefully taken into consideration all the difficulties, time constraints and limitations of Grihastha life before prescribing this practice.  They have left the entire practice on the Sadhak himself.  They have very carefully worded the practice of the second step as follows:

“After devoting eight hours a day in concentration as prescribed under the first step, the Sadhak should try to devote his free time in the practice of the remembrance of the Lord.  He should at this stage, ask his own-self the time that he loses in unnecessary gossips or useless time killing games or practices.  His conscience will indicate to him, the time so lost.  The Sadhaks who want to attain spirituality should utilize this time for practicing the concentration of mind at the feet of the Almighty.  The Saints and sages of Iti Marg have never asked the Sadhaks in any way, to slacken their efforts for betterment of their material prospects in the world.  The emphasis has always been not to hamper the material progress of the society in any way and yet at the same time, achieve the highest order of spirituality.”

The following illustrations of actual practice will serve as a guide to the Sadhaks in this field:-

Every person when he wakes up in the morning has to perform certain essential duties which we call “morning routine”.  He goes to latrine for ablution, has a wash, brushes his teeth, does shaving, takes a little exercise and goes for a bath.  This is the morning routine followed in India in a great majority of cases.  These duties are all physical, not requiring any special attention of the mind.  Generally while performing these duties, our mind remains wandering here and there aimlessly.  For a real Sadhak this is the free time available for the practice of remembrance of the Lord.

For example, we brush our teeth.  The time given to brushing of teeth – say 20 minutes or so goes in vain; there is no useful utilisatioin.  Pray to the Lord that while brushing you would mentally remember Him.  Take the brush, apply the tooth paste in His remembrance and start brushing your teeth in His remembrance.  Those who are real Sadhaks with very good Sanskaras (impressions) this is achieved very easily and there is not much difficulty.  Those who have regulated their dietary habits and recreation this comes almost automatically.  Initially when we start, difficulties do come.  We start brushing in His remembrance; after sometime the mind goes here and there – in office, in market or elsewhere.  The The remedy is that we should not fight with the mind.  If we fight we will not succeed.  One should cultivate friendship with one’s mind, if it goes towards office, make it understand that office hours are between 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and at that time, only office work will be done.  Now it is only 15-20 minutes time for brushing the teeth and should be spent in His remembrance.  This should be with complete ease in and in a very friendly way.

There is a possibility that after sometime, again the mind may go elsewhere and sometimes even without your knowledge.  Your conscience will then tell that the mind has again gone into worldly thoughts.  Again try to persuade it with love and bring it unto the feet of the Lord.  There should be no quarrel with your mind.  If you fight you will never succeed.  You will have to practice slowly and steadily with friendly persuasion.  By constant practice the time of His remembrance would go on increasing and worldly thoughts go on reducing.  Finally the moment you will take the tooth brush in your hand your mind will automatically think of Him alone and nothing else.

Repeated practice changes into habit.  Once habit is formed instinctively your mind will go towards His remembrance.  Suppose you are habituated to morning tea, you will automatically remember it in the morning when you get up.  Similar is the case with smoking. You start with a cigarette to give company to your friend.  There after you smoke now and then with your colleagues.  The frequency thus goes on increasing till you become a chain smoker.  Now habit for smoking is formed and you cannot live without it.  Excessive smoking results in the appearance of many serious diseases such as acute bronchitis and asthama.  You go to the doctor.  He gives medicines and finally advises that, if you want cure, give up smoking otherwise you may develop even cancer of the lungs.  The patient helplessly requests the doctor to give some medicine to neutralize the bad effects of smoking as now it is not possible for him to leave the habit.  If someone asks “Is it so tasty that it cannot be left?” What is its taste? He would get the reply, It has no taste – it is only bitter smoke, but habit is habit and most difficult to leave it” Such is the force of habit.

Similar is the case with wine.  You start with a peg for health of your friend.  You follow this practice in the parties extended to you.  Later you have to extend party to your friends and serve wine.  The frequency goes on increasing till you start taking daily and finally it becomes your habit.  Its frequency further i8ncreases till you become drunkard and completely ruin your health.  There is no going back even at the risk of your life.

If you do a particular work, time and again, you get habituated.  Similarly if we practice Ram Nam, it becomes a good habit and thus while brushing your teeth, His name will automatically come; you will not have to strive for it.  Just as you would take the tooth brush in your hand, His deep remembrance will come automatically.  It is for this reason that Bhagwan Krishna has laid emphasis on Abhyas (practice).  By practice, habit is formed and by habit, the thing comes instinctively and automatically.

Now let us take the other item – shaving.  As and when you take up the mirror and the shaving material, immerse yourself in His remembrance.  Apply soap in His remembrance, put blade in your razor in His remembrance and then shave in His remembrance.  It is just possible that in the initial stage you may take a little more time for shaving, say additional five minutes, but these five minutes are worth spending.  By constant practice for a few days, a sadhak is able to perform shaving perfectly well while keeping his mind absorbed in His remembrance.  If you take 6 weeks in forming the habit of His remembrance while brushing teeth, the formation of this habit while shaving will take much lesser time – say 4 weeks.  Once the habit is formed no sooner you would take the mirror and shaving material, you would start remembering the Lord as if by instinct.  The additional time taken initially gets adjusted, by and by, once we get into this good habit.

Now suppose a man goes for a walk every morning.  While walking his mind is generally engrossed in aimless thoughts.  Here again a serious and conscientious Sadhak would better like to utilize this time by diverting his mind unto the feet of the Lord.  In fact, morning time is the best time for thinking about the Almighty.  The beautiful crimson rising sun, the fragrant cool breeze, the green gardens laden with beautiful flowers, the fluttering of the butterflies, the chirping of the birds automatically take the heart and mind of the Sadhak unto the feet of the Almighty.  The calm atmosphere of the morning with a beautiful horizon dispelling darkness brings natural peace and tranqualit5y and the remembrance of the Lord springs up in the hard of the Sadhak automatically.

A mind with thoughts merged in the glory of the Lord, really enjoys the morning walk.  Such a one not only gets the necessary physical exercise but also prepares his mind for sound and healthy performance of the days work assigned to him.  Morning time is the start of our day’s work and should be utilized in the remembrance of the Lord so that our day begins with a happy mood and in the required direction, with necessary motive force.  No time should be lost in useless gossips or aimless thoughts.  This is a very valuable hint for those who are on the path of spirituality.

Let us examine the next and perhaps the last item of the morning routine i.e. taking a bath.  In India taking bath is a must.  People are generally bathroom singers and even the more serious ones, you will find breaking monotony by humming some lovely tunes or songs.  You will find young boys and girls quietly humming tunes of movie songs.  Here again what is desired is the change in the mental outlook.  The Sadhak when he goes to bath should utilise this free time for practice.  He should think of the Lord while taking a bath.  For a ‘Sakar Bhakta’ the best method is to that he is not giving bath to himself but to the Lord.  Not only his body will be cleansed and refreshed, but his heart and mind will also be filled with the bliss of the Lord.  Thus with a little careful practice, both internal and external cleanliness will be achieved and only devotional songs will hum out of the bathroom.  Thereafter you put on your clothes keeping your mind absorbed at His feet.  Imagine that you are clothing your Isht Deva and not yourself.

These are some of the valuable hints given to the Sadhaks to best utilise the time of morning routine which otherwise goes waste.  If you try and practice with a little effort, all the duties in the morning could be performed in His remembrance and you could easily achieve additional two hours making the total to 10 hours spend in His remembrance.  But our goal of second step is not yet achieved as we have to devote 16 hours of the day in practice.  How to convert these 10 to 16.  For this, we have to examine in what vocations generally the people are engaged in our country.

Broadly we can divide our people into 5 main vocations; (1) Agriculture, (2) Business, (3) Intellectuals, (4) Skilled workers engaged in factories and (5) Ladies engaged in household duties.

Now let us examine each walk of life in some details.

1. AGRICULTURE

About 70{8d92f97165c8d0c93ba1b616cb2d2f5723bb074438a2312b95f637f198631925} of the people of our country are engaged in Agriculture.  In our country the farming is mostly done by the plough with bullocks and now in many places with the help of the tractors.   It has been noticed that the farmer while ploughing is somewhat silent at the outset and after sometime, ha starts humming some tune say of Alahudal, Nautanki or something like that.  He does so because he may not feel fatigued.  When he can sing a Nautanki song, he can as well sing a devotional song.

There are two things required to be kept in view while ploughing. First that only the required amount of digging is to be done and secondly the plough might not injure the feet of the bullocks.  The farmer trains even his 14 years old boy in the art of ploughing.  These boys do the farming very nicely even while engaged in conversation.  They know from the pressure of the hand that ploughing is correctly being done or not.  This does not require much of the skill.  It becomes all mechanical.  The ploughing can therefore be done in the remembrance of the Lord.   There is no difficulty.  The second item is sowing.  When sowing is done, it can also be done in His remembrance as this is more or less, a mechanical and physical process.
The third item is watering the fields.  These days we have electric tube wells.  You push the button and water comes out and you have simply to cut it out in the plots of the field and this can be done easily in His remembrance.  Where there is no such facility, watering is done from well operated by Charas.  Generally two persons are required to do the job  one drives the bullocks, the other holds the Charas and empties the water from it.  When we were very young, we used to watch the process.  When the Charas went up, the man said “Aye Ram” and the other man stopped the bullocks and then the Charas was emptied then he used to say “Chalo Ram” and the other man started the bullocks.  Thus, with the announcement of “Aye Ram, Chalo Ram” entire field was watered in His remembrance.  Today it is very easy.  Only water is to be cut out in different  plots (Kyaries).  This can be very easily done in His remembrance.

There is no job of farming which cannot be done in His remembrance.  Every job can  be performed with heart immersed in Him.  The truth is that this was our culture, every job, every duty in fact every work used to be done in His remembrance.  There was no moment in our lives, which was spent without His remembrance. This was in fact our culture and found in every village.  In the villages, the door and the window of the houses were not locked, there being no danger of theft.  The daughter in the village used to be treated as the daughter of the entire village.  If any body looked at her with evil interntions, none would tolerate it.  The entire village would come to her rescue, if such a thing ever happened.  Such a beautiful atmosphere and divine life is our heritage.  The earnings of a farmer are earning of hard labour and toil.  He produces the cereals and pulse, keeps his own requirements and sells the rest in the city, for our sustenance.  In fact the farmer is the dearest child of God, from spiritual standpoint.  His vocation is for the good of others.   It involves hard work and earnestness.  His life could be spent in His remembrance.

If you go into the history of saints, you will be astonished to know that about 99.9{8d92f97165c8d0c93ba1b616cb2d2f5723bb074438a2312b95f637f198631925} of them came from the villages.  Only about 0.1{8d92f97165c8d0c93ba1b616cb2d2f5723bb074438a2312b95f637f198631925} may be from cities, for example Swami Vivekanand from Calcutta. The saints and Mahatmas like Kabir, Guru Nanak Dev, Tulsidas, Surdas, Tukaram, Gyandev, Namdeo and so many others were all from villages.  Our culture and atmosphere of the villages was full of spirituality.  If this 70{8d92f97165c8d0c93ba1b616cb2d2f5723bb074438a2312b95f637f198631925} of the people of our country desire, they can make their lives divine with 24 hours remembrance of the Lord.  What a beautiful life will it be?  If it is diverted this way in His remembrance and they understand the reality behind such a life!  Today the life in villages like that of the cities is full of dirty politics, mutual recriminations and jealousy.  The atmosphere has been polluted.  God has given the opportunity.  He has given us human birth, if we try we can mould our lives and make our country a real heaven.  Love can reign supreme and feeling of oneness can come; then  there will be no difference between man and man.

The second thing is ‘outlook’ (Bhawna) which plays a very important role in performing our duties and actions.  What work is we doing and with what motif, changes the entire colour of our works.  The same work is likely to bind if done with selfish aim; if done for the benefit of the mankind will make you a philanthropist and if done on His behest the same can make you realize Him.  The main thing is the motif, the underlying idea with which a work has been done.  A farmer who labours with the idea to earn money only will never be satisfied.  He will be jealous with his neighbors if they are better placed and harbor ill-will.  For his little gain would harm others and lead a most unhappy life and make others unhappy.  But if he thinks that God has assigned him a philanthropic vocation for the benefit of the humanity, he becomes a great philanthropist as he is doing real service to the mankind by providing food for those who are not farmers.  Jealousy from his heart vanishes.  If his neighbour’s crop is better than his crop, he thinks that his neighbor is doing greater service to the mankind.  He becomes happy and makes others happy.  With this changed outlook how much elated will he feel, how much satisfied!  Now God’s grace will lift him further.  He would have occasions to realize that however, fine the crop may be but nothing is achieved without His grace (Kripa).  A hailstorm may destroy the entire standing crop and nothing could be saved.  Thus His grace (Kripa) is the most important factor to achieve the desired results.

The farmer goes still further and thinks that he is only a tool in the hands of the Almighty who is the real doer.  Now he will be remembering his Lord on every breath.  What a change comes!  What sincerity!  What a calmness, peace and real happiness!  Thus, it is a matter of attitude (Bhawna).  The same work if performed with selfish aim to earn only money binds oneself, the same with the changed outlook makes him a philanthropist, and the same work when dedicated to the Lord changes into worship.  Every work is not worship but it can be changed into worship.  Thus, if the life of this 70{8d92f97165c8d0c93ba1b616cb2d2f5723bb074438a2312b95f637f198631925} of the population changes, the country gets revolutionised.

2. BUSINESS :

The second vocation is of business.  About 20{8d92f97165c8d0c93ba1b616cb2d2f5723bb074438a2312b95f637f198631925} of the businessmen have no time.  As if money rains on them the whole day.  They do not know how and where to spend it.  What is their life like; from morning till evening they are so busy that they do not have time for meals.  With overwork their digestion becomes very weak.  They cannot enjoy life.  They only know that money has doubled or tripled or even multiplied ten times. One crore gets multiplied into ten crores and ten into twenty and the like.  The only pleasure is to see that in the account book, the money has multiplied and the lockers are full.  If we think deeply of a man earning ten to fifteen thousands per month in India, he could have all the luxuries and lead a princely life.  Then why one should be greedy to amass crores after crores.

In reality such business millionaires are only debtors and are earning for others.  In the previous life they had taken loans.  Their children were money lenders whom they are repaying in this life.  Their children enjoy; someone has two cars, the other three; someone stays in the Ashoka hotel and the other in the Taj.  It is only they who are enjoying the money.  He himself lives in worries – worry of income tax, property tax, worry of sales tax, house tax and so on.  Even for such unfortunates the saints and sages have carried out a way; they should not despair.  If they are doing any such work which is of repetitive nature, there is a way.  If you have a Shopping Centre and you are writing the cash-memos, start with the name of the Lord say ‘Om’ and do it and when you have finished writing again say ‘Om’.  If you have to write, say 200 cash memos, you would be remembering Him 400 times.  If you are counting cash, start every count with His name.  Thus, if you have handled cash 500 times you would utter His name 1000 times.  A person who takes His name 1000 while working will have His remembrance.  Many are such repetitive works, where you can very easily take His name simultaneously.

Param Pujya Satgurudev Yashpal Ji has cited one incident to illustrate this point.  This is given in his own words as follows.  “I now recollect, when I was in Jabalpur, I had a Boss, Shri S.Krishnan by name.  Whey my Gurudev visited my house in Jabalpur, I invited him.  He came and was very much impressed.  When he was about to leave, he said to my Gurudev, “Sir, the simple way you explain the spiritual practices is really wonderful but the difficulty is I am so busy that I have no time to put them into practice.´ My Gurudev asked him, “What is your assignment in the office and what do you actually do?”  He said, “ I am looking after general administration and it is a very responsible job.”  “But what have you to do actually?”  He enquired.  “After looking general administration I have got very heavy seat where cases come in heaps.”  “Are you able to examine all of them in details?”  He replied, “I can’t examine all.  I take out 10{8d92f97165c8d0c93ba1b616cb2d2f5723bb074438a2312b95f637f198631925} cases at random and go through them carefully.  I can find out from this whether the office is working in the right direction or not.  The rest I see, whether the head clerk and account officer have seen and signed and if so, I also sign.”

My Gurudev again asked him, “How many signatures have you to affix daily?”  “In thousands”, he said.  “An order has about 10-15 copies and I have to sign them all.”  My Gurudeva smiled and said, “If it is so, it is very easy.”  When you sign say ‘Om’ and sign S.Krishnan, what is difficulty there?”  Mr Krishnan admitted that it was possible and he started practicing it.  In the meantime I was transferred to Delhi.  After about 5-6 years or so, he also came on transfer to Delhi.  He met me and said, “I came at your house at Jabalpur and your Maharaj had also come.  Do you remember what he told me?”  I said, “Yes! I remember, when signing say ‘Om’ and sign S.Krishnan.  ‘Om’ S.Krishnan”.  You won’t believe me Yash Pal that I had not signed any paper without ‘Om’ since then.  “Excellent” said I.  What a wonderful soul was he?  He remained in Delhi for a number of years.  Once he went to Har Ki Pauri (Haridwar).  He had a bath and as soon as he came out, humming some devotional hymn on 2nd October (Gandh ji’s birthday), he fell down and left his body like a flower in His remembrance on the shore of Har ki Pauri.  One small practice and where did it take him!  The saints have, therefore, said that there is no need to get despaired.  Whatever work you do repeatedly, do it in His remembrance and form a habit.

But the majority of the businessmen are such who are not always engaged with customers.  He goes to shop, opens it, gets cleaned or he cleans it himself, burns incense; and as long as there is no customer he can remain in His remembrance with eyes open.  When the customer comes, leave the practice and attend to him with full devotion, when he goes back satisfied, again start the practice and immerse in His remembrance.  There is no point wasting time in useless gossips etc.  Either do your work or put your heart and mind to the remembrance of the Almighty whenever free.  With a little serious effort such a seeker will find that whenever there is no customer, his heart is engaged in the remembrance of the Lord.  Whenever a customer comes, he leaves the practice and engages himself in satisfying the customer.  By this constant practice all his free time will be devoted unto the feet of the Almighty.  Say if you are for about 12 hours in the shop and you have attended to the customer for six hours, then six hours could be easily devoted in His remembrance.  It does not at all make any difference in your business.  The worldly work goes on a usual.

If an industrialist opens factories with the sole object of only earning money he is likely to commit sinful acts which would bound him for ever.  However, if his attitude changes and he opens a factory with the good intention that his country should develop that he would give employment to others which is a welfare work, he becomes a philanthropist.  His factories run well and workers well satisfied and earn due money too.
With what motive you are doing your work is very vital.  If it is only money – earning, it would degenerate you.  If the motive is that God has put him in such a situation that he has money and has opened new factories for the good of the nation the country gets richer, there is more employment, more welfare.  It is the attitude that counts, if he sincerely thinks that he is only a tool in the lord’s hand and it is all due to His grace he gets liberated, attains MOKSHA.

Everywhere in factories, in offices, you can however, change every work into worship.  It is the outlook that matters, it plays a very important role.  The outlook changes the action.  Sudama ji went to Lord Krishna, with some parched rice.  It was practically of little or no value those days.  There was however, noble motif behind it.  Lord Krishna might have given the entire kingdom to Sudama unless Rukmani with other queens had not come in his way and taken away the rest of the rice.  Lord Rama took Bhilni’s party eaten up plums.  From worldly point of view the act was most disgraceful.  But since it was performed with pure heart with the devotional motif not to offer any sour plum to her Ishta Deva, she got liberated and attained Moksha.   Thus it is the motif (Bhawna) which matters most.

3. INTELLECTUALS

The third category is that of intellectuals, administrators, doctors, research scholars, engineers, professors, teachers, office goers and all those engaged in intellectual works.  They have normally 7 hours of duty.  Out of this, one hour is for lunch etc.  Food is to be taken after dedication to the Lord and in His remembrance.  Then take rest, close your eyes and remember Him.   If we carry on this practice, we shall refresh ourselves for afternoon duties.  Whatever you do in the afternoon you will not feel fatigued and will do your work with same vigor as in the morning tea and 15 minutes for afternoon tea.  This half an hour can be easily given to His remembrance.  Thus you can given 1 ½ hours easily to Him from amongst 7 hours.  Even otherwise normally.

There may be some offices where you have continuous flow of work but normally in majority of offices, it is not so.  You go to office, meet your colleagues in a friendly way.   Tell them some joke from Readers Digest or from elsewhere so that all of them may feef happy.  Then take your seat and attend your work.   When the work is finished, be in His remembrance and when the work comes again attend to it with all sincerity.  When it is completed, be in His remembrance with eyes open, so that nobody can notice it.  If you make a show of Bhakti (devotion) then you would be in trouble.  Your colleagues will tease you, will taunt you, and will give you funny names Bhakta ji, Bhagat ji, Swami ji and so on.   They will not allow you to do even routine office work.  You have to be on your guard.  You have to practice without letting others notice it.  If by mistake your eyes are closed, they should guess that your had been to the second show and that is why your are dozing.  The Abhyas (practice) has, therefore, to be done silently and invisibly.   By and by it becomes a habit that if the work is over, you automatically have His remembrance.

The saints have thus given a good piece of advice that we are able to determine the value of everything, of the cloth; of the house; of the field; of the shop; of ornaments; and in fact every single item by the difficulty is that we never evaluate ourselves.  We do not even try to do that.  What have we done and what is its worth.  This is very regrettable.  The saints have said that life is very valuable; we should not waste even a split of a second.  Let us do the worldly duties, there is no harm but we should not waste our time.  This is their advice.  Take the case of a scientist, the world will derive some benefit of him, he will do some research, which will ultimately be of some use, a new thing will come into the market which will be of some common good, the harm comes only if we waste time.  We must utilize our time fully,  either in doing worldly duties and/or in His remembrance.  If there is some spare time we should utilize it for Him.  The worldly duties should be performed with all sincerity and the spare time for His remembrance.  The main thing is the intention—outlook.   If we work simply for wages, he will not feel satisfied.  We feel jealous of others- say my boss is less qualified while I am better qualified, yet getting less salary.  He will be able to find umpteen situations like this.  If one works only for wages, he will ever remain dissatisfied, always worrying and finding faults.  He will never have any peace.

If we ruse a bit higher and think that God has entrusted me with this duty; it is His work and not somebody else’s and this has to be done.  The boss may be less qualified, God has placed him as boss, As such he has to be given due respect and I am duty bound.  If we perform our duties with this idea, we will rise in our estimation and will never be dissatisfied and shall remain contented.  Those who do leg reach higher positions but how long.  Ultimately in the long run, those who work considering it as assigned by God, with sincerity, win.  They get real happiness and always remain calm and contented.  What a great thing it is?  The life lived in His remembrance with high ideals and with spiritual spirits is really a glorious life.  By and by we reach Jiven Mukta state and attain our ideal, our objective while living like an ordinary man in this world.  The attitude of life thus makes a great difference.  The intellectuals if they like and practice can easily make at least 16 house, their own 16 hours in His remembrance and the rest in worldly duties.

4.  SKILLED  WORKERS

The fourth vocation is of skilled workers who work in factories.  If you see the working of factories, you will find in large factories, there are various types of machines, and every machine does almost one type of work, some do cutting, some are lathes, some drilling machines of which do the drilling.  These are mostly manned by skilled workers.  Their items of work are very important in that no operation of the machine should go waste, and that is their efficiency.  The machine  should work cent percent.  If some worker is on sheeting operation, he should put the sheet on each operation so that the cutting could continue.  If the machine is for drilling, the sheet should be placed in such a position that there is proper drilling at the right place.  The operations of all such machines are timed say each operation after every minute or half a minute.  When the operations are timed it is very easy to remember His name say ‘Om’, ‘Ram’ or ‘Allah’ and put the sheet at every operation.  Continue to do that, the work done will be cent percent efficient and you will also continuously remember His name.  In an 8 hours job, there is half an hour for lunch and two tea breaks of 15 minutes each.  In factories the tea is served mostly on the seats and the workers have not to go out for this purpose.  The skilled workers working on machines with timed operations can remember His name for the entire period of their duty, there is no difficulty.  How nice and peaceful would become their lives, how much contented and with utmost efficiency.

If the factory worker does his job only for the wages, he would think that the factory owner has a bungalow, while he cannot meet both ends.  He would always be jealous of his seniors, his colleagues and would always brood and remain discontented.  He would be creating trouble for others and or himself, He would spend his earnings on smoking, wine and other vices.  This type of attitude is required to be changed.  If he thinks that he works in the factory and the God has assigned his a job to serve the humanity, he would try to increase the production of the factory.  We would become self-sufficient and would compete with other countries.  It is a matter of outlook which changes the whole course of life.

Take the case of a Railway Engine Driver.  In Railways they get good salary, but still if he keeps an eye on emoluments alone, he would feel that his duty is very hard; he has to continue standing and cannot even wink.   If that happens, there is likelihood of an accident.  While there are conductors, guards, ticket checkers who sleep peacefully and pocket more money then him and enjoy life.  Their duty is comfortable with more money whereas he is most unfortunately, his duty being very hard.  He has to stand all the time.  If he only looks towards wages, he would only curse himself and feel jealous of others.  When he reaches home full of disgust and if the children ask what he has brought, he will reply, “I was burning hot in the engine room and your are asking what I have brought for you”.  He will curse his wife and his children and scold them.  He will create a hell in his home.

However, if his attitude changes and he starts thinking that God assigned him a noble job.  He takes thousands of people to their destination.  The mothers waiting for their children, will meet them.   How happy will they be and so on and so forth.  He regards his job as a real service.  What a wonderful change would come to him.  He would be glad to see people returning home and their relatives greeting them, embracing each other.  If the train reaches before time, the people get more time to meet one another and how happy they are.  His happiness also goes on increasing station after station.  When he reaches home, he would love his children, embrace them. Kiss them and would feel happy.  He thinks he has given  lot of happiness to others.  He has all joy and the home becomes a heaven.  Both earn wages, but see the difference  If he rises a bit higher and thinks that he does not drive, he is only a tool in His hands, real driver is somebody else – the God Almighty, he would automatically remain in His remembrance throughout the journey.  The work so done so done would raise him and would lead him towards Mukti (liberation).  The work is the same but if done only for wages makes one so unhappy and turn his home into a hell.  The same work with a changed outlook becomes the work for the common weal and so becomes pleasant.  When completely dedicated to God lead him onwards on the path of self realization and attain ‘JIVAN MUKTA AVASTHA’ (state of self-realisation).

There is a postman who distributes letters, has to travel long distances in villages.  They have time to travel even to travel even 5 to 6 miles.  Many of them are graduates and even post graduates.  They could not get better service elsewhere and are serving as postman even though highly qualified they are.  If they are working only for wages, they are really6 very unhappy and miserable.  What is this service?  He has to go from door to door.  He has to travel from door to door.  He has to travel sometimes more than 2 to 7 miles on cycles.  What difficult life.  Sometimes such an unhappy man, throws away or even burns bundles of letters instead of distributing them and commit sins.  How sinful his life becomes.  A change is brought in his outlook and he starts thinking that God has assigned him the task, whatever he has thought fit, has given.  He tries hard for the promotion and does his work honestly and willingly.  If he thins that the work is for the common good, distributes the Dak property, delivers money orders in time, the mother is happy that the son has sent the M.O.   The letter comes; the children are well, she is happy.  The people are happy; thank him that he has given good piece of news.   May God bless him, May he progress.  If this is his attitude, he gets delight in work, he will get his wages no doubt, but his life also becomes very happy.

Both types of people get pay—one is very unhappy and the other is very happy.  The later type will deliver the letters correctly even if the address at times is incorrect or insufficient because he knows the locality well, while the former type will return the genuine M.O,s with the remark “address wrong”.  “Insufficient”, “addressee not found” and the like.  Just imagine the plight of mothers who are expecting M.O,s from their sons working in far of cities.  Such a man creates hell for others and for himself.  If he thinks that it is God’s work he serves the people and serves his country, how happy he is !  By and by his outlook broadens and he thinks that he is only an instrument in His hands and doing nothing.  This attitude takes him onwards self realization and ultimate liberation.

The attitude in life, thus makes one a doer while the other a seer.  Simple long hours of worship will not  do the work in itself is turned into worship.  Only Abhyas (concentration and meditation) is of no avail, whether you do it for 10 hours or 20 hours unless you change your life pattern.  Unless all the duties are performed in the remembrance of the Lord, you will not achieve Jivan Mukta state.  The saints have risen high,  while performing their normal duties.  If you go through ‘Bhaktmal’, you will know the lives of various saints.  Some have risen to sainthood, Jivan Mukta Avastha simply by weighing materials correctly and selling at fixed price.  Even if a small child comes he would get the thing at the same price and rate and in right measure.  Doing verily the small types of works rightly with right attitude, they have risen very high and attained sainthood.

The Bhaktmal is full of such stories of various saints of high order.  There was a barber, by name Saina; he used to do hair cutting and remove the dirt from the heads of the customers.  He thought why should not he remove his own dirt from his head i.e. his mind also, and by so doing he rose to sainthood.  Similarly Sadana butcher became a saint even while selling meat.  Gora potter by making earthen pots and pitchers became such a great saint that he could test others.  How beautifully they have depicted their Lord as a Real Karmayogi.  Lord Krishna took up the work of removing Pattals (plates made up by tagging tree leaves ) after the guests had partaken the food in ASHAVAMEDHA YAJNA performed by Pandavas.  He drove the chariot of Arjuna in Mahabharat War.   When others were asleep, he used to clean the horses and used to feed them.  He was a great Karmayogi.  Thus unless your works are an offering unto God, you cannot have 24 hours remembrance of the Lord.  This is the real practice, a Godly life.  No moment should pass without His remembrance what to talk of 16 hours it should be every moment.

5. HOUSEHOLDERS

The fifth vocation is Household and is for women.  In India most of the women have responsibility to manage their houses and children.  In our country only a small percentage of women are employed, mostly as doctors, nurses and teachers.  A very large percentage of them manage the kitchen and other household affairs and look after their children.  These two are their main functions.  The old ladies, while in kitchen, used to do the cooking etc. after repeating the name of the Lord in some form or the other.  They had formed certain practices that if they put salt they would utter some Mantra, If they pour water they utter another Mantra.  While putting the salt to vegetable that is being cooked they would say “SITA RAM KI RASOI SITA RAM YAJNA HOI”.   This means that the food is being cooked for the Lord and after all the preparations are ready, that would be offered to the Lord as a Naivedya and thereafter to the guests and then it would be taken by the household as a Prasad (benediction) from Him.  This used to be every day’s Yajna for them.  Such a beautiful conception they had, that whatever was being prepared in the house was an offering to the Almighty and done in His complete remembrance.

The food has a great bearing on the mind.  With what motif the food is being prepared and with what attitude and devotion it is served, can change the whole outlook of those who take it.  Food should never be prepared in anger.  If you are angry, stop preparing the food for the time being.  No harm will come.  The cooking should be done in His remembrance in a calm and serene atmosphere with love and devotion as Prasad, in His remembrance.  Whosoever partakes such a food would automatically turn to spirituality.  The entire cooking can be done in His remembrance.  (In fact there are different Vedic Mantras for various purposes)

The next important duty of a house lady is to look after her children.  They should never loose their temper on them.  Children should never be treated harshly.  This duty involves great responsibility.  It is the time when future foundation of every child is laid.  They should see in every child the loving God, (Bal Bhagwan).  With this changed mental outlook, they will find great happiness in their hearts and the child will be brought up in a very healthy and loving atmosphere.  Such a child will grow into a spirituals giant.

When we look into history of the great personalities we would find a very great role played by their mothers, in making them great.  The impressions which the child carries from his mother in the childhood are undeniable.  The small children who come  to the Satsang carry the impressions.  We should therefore ask our children to sit in Satsang specially when books like Japuji Sahib and Ramayana are being read.  The small children who live in Satsang atmosphere sing such beautiful devotional songs that we feel astonished.  When there is a children’s progrmme in our ‘Annual Bhandara’ they give beautiful, devotional and loveable songs and dialogues.  What a wonderful effect it has on our children!   It is very remarkable.  If the children are kept in such an atmosphere, it will do good and will change the whole course of life to their betterment.  If the ladies of the household could practice sincerely the above two things they would always remain in the remembrance of the Lord and their life becomes divine and home turned into heaven.  Peace and happiness would reign in their families.

The third thing in the Hindu ladies of great importance is Pativrat Dharma (devotion towards husband).  Hinduism to a large extent is existing only due to this.  The Pativrat Dharma of our ladies is a very great thing indeed.  Their Lord (Ishta-Deva) is in their house.  They need not go to temples.  Their real temple is their home and their Ishta-Deva is their “Pati” (husband).  Then why go elsewhere?  Where there is such thinking amongst the ladies their homes are really heaven.  There is real happiness.

Real happiness and money are two different things.  If you have lot of money, do not think that you are really happy.  God may give us so much, as would be sufficient for us to live a happy life.  This is all, what more is required.  A normal life led in the real happiness is what is needed.  The son does his duty, the father does his, the wife and mother perform theirs.  It is real Swarg, a heaven, the abode of God.  One has tonnes of money, but his wife, the sons and the daughters all differ from one another, going cross purposes in different directions—father goes to north, the mother to the south and the sons to the east and daughters to the west, the house will become hell and life will be full of unhappiness and misery.  You have everything at your command, but that is of no use since there is no happiness.  The life is miserable and unhappiness reigns all over.  The riches and the real happiness are quite different.  Unless the life is led in His remembrance and made divine, real happiness and peace would never be attained.

Thus we have seen that if we sincerely and earnestly practice we very easily make 16 hours our own.  There is a great stress on Abhyas (practice).  In Gita, for the real Sadhaks (aspirants) Lord Krishna has laid great emphasis on four things (1) (Aahar) Method of taking food (2) ‘Vihar’ Method of  recreation (3) ‘Abhyas’ Practice and (4) ‘Vairajna’ Renunciation, Grihastha saints  who have achieved Jivan Mukta state in their very lives, have told us how to practically achieve the.  The first two and major part of the third have been already discussed.   Thus in our normal life, performing all the normal duties according to the dictates of the Shastras, we have easily make 16 hours our own and when this has been achieved, we are on the onward march to spirituality.  In this manner a mental attitude is formed which is called Ulat Dhar (Reversal of flow).